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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  February 26, 2024 1:00am-2:00am PST

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you can catch up with them. >> absolutely not. >> but they think you kill their mother. >> i don't think know if they think that or not. i think they've just been trained to hate and fear me. it would be better for them to hear this relationship as soon as possible. >> the children, what they saw. what they heard. what they remembered. sierra's friends say what's more important now is what they know about the woman lost on that day. >> if your kids start to forget her, the memory dims. what would you sit down and tell them about their mother? >> how much she loved them. she did. those kids wear everything to her. they were her world. >> that is all for this edition of dateline. i'm natalie morales.
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thank you for watching! talie m. thank you for watching! after losing the gop primary in her home state. >> i know 40% is not 50%. but i also know 40% is not some tiny group. >> while donald trump says he can't wait for the general nine months is a long time. >> how long will hailey stay in the race? i'll talk to republican congressman byron donalds of florida who is strongly backing trump. plus, fertility fight. alabama's supreme court rules that frozen embryos created through ivf are considered children, leading fertility clinics in the state to pause procedures. >> access to reproductive healthcare through ivf is being taken from countless individuals and families. >> embryos to me are babies. >> what will be the legal and
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political impact? i'll talk to democratic governor gavin newsom of california. and ukraine's future. the war in ukraine reaches the two-year mark. >> we can't walk away now. >> if the thing you care most about is a conflict 6,000 miles away, you should not be the leader of this country. >> what will happen if the u.s. pulls back support? i'll speak to national security adviser jake sullivan. joining me for insight and analysis are nbc chief political analyst chuck todd, nbc news washington correspondent yamiche alcindor, former obama white house senior adviser stephanie cutter, and lahnee chen from the hoover institute. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest running show in television history. this is "meet the press" with kristen welker.
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good sunday morning. former president donald trump is solidifying his grip on the republican nomination after beating nikki haley in the midwest, the northeast, the west, and now the south. trump delivering a crushing blow to haley in her home state on saturday, trouncing her by nearly 20 points with nearly 60% of the vote, the former president dominating nearly every key group in the south carolina republican primary electorate, according to the nbc news exit poll results. trump now setting his sights squarely on the general election. >> in certain countries you are allowed to call your election date. if i had the right to do it, i would do it tomorrow. i would say we're having an election tomorrow. >> more than 60% of south carolina republican primary voters said in exit polls they would consider trump fit to be president even if he was convicted of a crime, but nikki haley defiant, vowing to stay in the race through super tuesday, but not saying what will happen after that.
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>> i'm going to count it. i know 40% is not 50%, but i also know 40% is not some tiny group. in the next ten days, another 21 states and territories will speak. they have the right to a real choice. not a soviet-style election with only one candidate. >> as former president trump looks to a likely general election re-match with president biden, a growing chorus of his aides and allies tell nbc news they want him to fixate less on personal grievances and instead focus on hitting president biden and unifying the republican party. the challenges of that were on display on friday night during a speech at the black conservative federation's annual gala in south carolina, trump griped about his legal troubles including four indictments complaining of discrimination.
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>> i got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time, and a lot of people said that that's why the black people like me because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as i'm being discriminated against. >> we'll get to all of it later this more, but we begin with the two-year anniversary with the war in ukraine. on saturday, ukrainian president zelenskyy promised his country would win the war despite a series of setbacks, saying we are 730 days closer to victory. joining me now is national security adviser jake sullivan. jake, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thanks for having me. >> so let's start right there in ukraine. ukrainian fighters have been dying. they've been running out of ammunition. is this war in ukraine a stalemate, jake, or does russia now have the upper hand?
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>> well, first, kristen, let's take a step back. we've just hit the two-year anniversary since this brutal invasion began, and when we began, most people on your show predicted it would be over in a week or two. most people in the u.s. government predicted it would be over in a week or two. two years later the country of kyiv stand, the country stands proud and free and resisting russian aggression. so we need to understand that ukraine has in many ways succeeded the fundamental objective of vladimir putin, which was to subjugate the country of ukraine. ukraine has taken back territory that russia occupied in the early months of the war. we are looking at setbacks including in recent days because ukraine didn't have enough ammunition to defend the town of avdiivka in the east.
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ukraine still has the capacity if we provide them the tools and resources they need to be able to prevail in this war, and it is up to us, the united states and our allies and partners, to deliver on our commitments, and that's why it is so important that congress act. >> and we are going to talk about that fight over the aid in just a moment, but i want to ask you big picture. does the united states still think that ukraine can win this war militarily? >> of course, ukraine can win. of course, ukraine has already succeeded militarily in one of the most profound objectives it had, which was to keep the country from falling into russian hands. it had already done that. and ukraine can go further in retaking what russia has occupied and ensuring russia fails and ensuring ukraine prevails, but it can only do so if it has the tools that it needs and that is why the united states needs to deliver the aid package that passed on a massive
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bipartisan vote in the senate. the house needs to step up and pass that bill. >> well, with aide stalled in the house i had the opportunity to speak to david cameron, and i asked him what he thinks president biden can do on his own. take a look at that answer. >> i think what britain has shown -- i'm not saying we get everything right. we make mistakes. but right at the start of this conflict, we took the view that i'll back zelenskyy as much as we could. we gave them the tanks and we gave them the long-range artillery and on every occasion there were people saying including some in the united states saying, look, this is in danger of escalating, and i don't think it was in danger of escalating the conflict. what we were doing was giving ukraine the weaponry they need to fight off the russians, and i think that that is not escalatory. it was helping to back their defense. and i think the more the american administration can see
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that that works, that others have done it, america is doing it now with the long-range artillery, and i would urge the pentagon and the president to err on the side of doing more. >> jake, is president biden out of options or is there more he can do on his own? >> well, it comes down to basic arithmetic. we need money to be able to provide the weapons to ukraine. we don't have the money, only congress can provide the money. so that's the reality and that's why the urgency -- excuse me, of congress passing this bill is so profound and it's why this ultimately comes down to a simple decision for one man, speaker johnson. if there were an up or down vote in house this would pass on a bipartisan basis so speaker johnson will have to decide, will he allow that vote to go forward? if he does, ukraine will get what it needs. if he doesn't, then the united states will not have the resources necessary to give ukraine the kinds of tools and
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capacities that it needs. that's what this comes down to and that is the moment that we are at right now. >> jake, what do you say to speaker johnson? what do you say to house republicans who say they don't think more taxpayer dollars should be spent on the war in ukraine until we have a clear understanding of the strategy and what victory looks like there? >> so i've personally gone up and briefed the speaker and other members. secretary austin and secretary blinken, our intelligence community have gone up and we view in writing how we look for strategy for russia to prevail and russia to fail on this, and i don't think the question at this point is about the strategy, and i don't think the question is about whether this is an overwhelming bipartisan
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riot in the house waiting to happen. the question now is about politics. will speaker johnson bust through the politics in his caucus to put this vote on the floor. if he does, the resources will flow, and we have answered and engaged on the questions relative to the strategy and we feel like we're in a good place on that. now it comes down to a simple right or left turn. one way is towards a vote that delivers ukraine what it needs and the other way is towards an outcome that vladimir putin would love to see, which is the united states not stepping up to its responsibility. >> let me ask you about russia as it relates to the next election. as you know the intelligence community has said in 2016 and 2020 russia interfered in the united states presidential elections. are there concerns or is there even evidence that russia is planning to interfere in the 2024 election, jake? >> i can't speak to evidence today, but i can tell you, of course, there are concerns. there is a history here in presidential elections by the russian federation and by its intelligence services and plenty of reason to be concerned, and
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this is not about politics. this is about national security, and it's about a foreign country, a foreign adversary seeking to manipulate the politics and democracy of the united states of america. we are going to be vigilant about this and we will engage congress on a bipartisan basis because in should be beyond and above politics. >> let me ask you about israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu yesterday announced he will convene a cabinet meeting at the beginning of this week to approve the operational plans for action in rafah including the evacuation of the civilian population there. has the president seen this plan? has he been briefed on it? >> he has not, and beyond that, kristen, we have been very clear about our view here. we are talking about more than a million people who have been pushed into this small space in gaza because of military operations elsewhere, and it's also the area where all of the humanitarian assistance comes into gaza to serve all of gaza.
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we've been clear that we do not believe that an operation, a major military operation should proceed in rafah unless there is a clear and executable plan to protect the civilians to get them to safety and to feed, clothe, and house them, and we have not seen a plan like that. >> well, is the president willing to withhold weapons sales until he does see a plan? what is he willing to do in terms of leverage here? >> i'm not going to get into hypotheticals because at this time what we are doing is telling our israeli counterparts privately just as we are saying publicly that we with do not believe this operation should go forward until and unless we see that, and we haven't seen it, but we are waiting to hear from the israelis on that front >> national security adviser jake sullivan, thank you for being here. we appreciate it. still ahead, we dive into the 2024 rasz with gavin newsom of california, but when we come back, will donald trump change his strategy as he pivots to the general election?
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republican congressman byron donalds joins me next. donalds joins me next. sleep num. can i make my side softer? i like my side firmer. sleep number does that. can it help us sleep better and better? please? sleep number does that. 94 percent of smart sleepers report better sleep. now, save 50% on the sleep number limited edition smart bed. plus 10% off all bases. ends monday what is cirkul? cirkul is the fuel you need to take flight. cirkul is the energy that gets you to the next level. cirkul is what you hope for when life tosses lemons your way. cirkul, available at walmart and
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welcome back. as former president donald trump solidifies his hold on the republican nomination, nbc news has learned that trump allies are encouraging him to pivot to a general election message. joining me now is a top trump surrogate who has also been mentioned as a potential running mate including on friday night. republican congressman byron donalds of florida. congressman donalds, welcome back to "meet the press." >> it's good to be back with you. thanks for having me on. >> it's good to have you, congressman and on friday you introduced donald trump at a group of black conservatives. he made a number of headline-making comments including this one. take a look. >> i got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time and a lot of people said that's why black people like me because i have been
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discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as i'm being discriminated against. >> congressman, it sounds like donald trump was implying that he can win black voters because they get indicted, too, all the time. is that what he was saying? >> it was a great night friday night in columbia, south carolina. the president was just enjoying himself. it was a great celebration for black con serve tiffs across our country, but let's be clear. our economy is a mess and our border is unsecured, and these things are causes of major concerns for black voters like it is for every voter in our country. and when you layer on the fact that, yes, this is political persecution from the department of justice and from radical d.a.sthroughout our country,
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this is something similar that black people have had to deal with the justice system itself. if the government is going after him with foolishness, he can't be that bad especially considering that joe biden is terrible at his job. >> congressman, let's just be clear all four indictments against former president trump were brought by grand juries and no evidence that they were political in nature. let me get you to respond to campaign co-chair and former congressman cedric richmond who said this about his comments. donald trump claiming that black americans will support him because of his criminal charges is insulting. it's moronic, and it's just plain racist. how do you respond to that charge that it's just plain racist? >> what i would say is cedric is trying to use racial politics even now as we go into the general election. that's one. number two, like i said at the top, the number one reason minority voters in the country want to support donald trump is because he did the job of a president, he did a great job as
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president, our country was secure, the economy was great, and these are all things that donald trump talked about friday night. he also did talk about the indict ams and what americans don't want to see especially black americans and everyone else do not want to see a politicized justice department. they don't want to see a two-tier system of justice and they want lady justice to be blind. that's what the american people want, that's what black people want, and that's what everybody wants. >> there's no evidence that the indictments against him are politicized, but sticking to this question, were you offended at all by his comments, congressman? >> no, i wasn't because i understood what the president was talking about, and like i've said now for the third time, he talked about all of the reasons why minority voters want to support him. and, kristen, let me push back a little bit, and you have to acknowledge that now that robert hur's report, which came out, is the espionage act, and yet there are no charges against president
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biden, but president trump is under prosecution? come on now, we know that doesn't make any sense at all. >> i have to push the pause button because the hur report was very clear that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against president biden, and that ultimately -- >> i have to push back on you -- >> that is exactly what the hur report said. yes, it is. >> the espionage act is clear. you cannot possess those documents as a senator or vice president. you have no rights to those documents as a senator or vice president. they must remain in a secure facility. joe biden took them and that's a violation of the espionage act. >> okay. all right. bottom line, hur himself said there wasn't enough evidence to bring charges. let's move onto this next topic, though, and i want to talk about the alabama ivf ruling, and you
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agreed with the state supreme court's decision that embryos are children. i just want to put a fine point on this. do you support ivf as it is practiced in the united states which involves the production of embryos that are sometimes destroyed or even donated if they're unused? >> well, first, i do support ivf because i have several friends that have gone through the procedure. it has made their families whole. a lot of them have children. their children are beautiful and wonderful and i totally support the procedure. number two, when the msnbc report asked me that question, was in the middle of a hallway and heard the tail end, and i didn't hear the alabama ruling and do you support the embryos are life. i heard half the question. do i support the ivf procedure. i do. it should be made available and president trump has also said woo want the alabama legislature to make sure that legislature is protected for families that struggle with having children that helps them create families which is what our country desperately needs. >> just to be very clear, though, if you believe that embryos are children, do you believe they should be treated
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as people with all of the same legal rights as people? >> i think now you're getting to a personhood argument, and this is where a lot of the details in legislation, not just court rulings are important. i believe this is something that the legislatures have to make sure they weigh and walk themselves through. the ivf procedure is very important to a lot of couples in our country and should be protected. i agree with president trump on that, but when we get into these conversations, it's important to delineate from what just one judge might say versus what a legislature and a governor will decide when they go through the legislative process. >> you raise the point that president trump is calling for lawmakers in alabama to take action. there is also federal legislation that is being proposed. will you support that that would protect ivf services at the federal level? >> like any type of bill that
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gets drafted on capitol hill, i want to see the devil in the details, but, yes, i feel like i can broadly support that. but like i said, ivf is something that is so critical to a lot of couples and helps them breed great families and our country needs that. >> let me ask you now about ukraine and the aid that is pending on capitol hill. at a town hall in january of 2022, you said that america needed to be engaged in ukraine because, quote, if you essentially allow the bully to bully, you will be brought into a broader conflict. today you opposed aid to ukraine. what changed, congressman? >> my opposition has been very simple. joe biden needs to secure our country. the first job of the federal government is to secure the nation, secure our borders. he has failed in that. we are going to have 10 million migrants come into our country at the end of his first term
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just because he wants to have an open border strategy? that doesn't help our country, and so many citizens are saying why are we sending billions of dollars to protect ukraine while our country remains open? my message is clear. i agree with the speaker. you want to secure funding, but secure america first. >> but, congressman, you have the opportunity to take control of securing the border. the senate came up with a deal that some veteran senators said it was the best deal and didn't include for a path to citizen someone, for example, the border patrol union endorsed it and how can you make that argument when you oppose that, when republicans oppose that in the house? >> oh, it's very easy because it was a terrible deal. that bill would have codified all of the actions of joe biden when he became president. there would have been no stop to the flow of migrants going into detroit, chicago, denver, new york, et cetera.
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it wouldn't have fixed anything, kristen. it was a terrible deal, and, by the way, it didn't even pass the senate. so if it doesn't pass the chamber of congress, it is no deal. >> congressman, the border patrol unit that endorsed former president trump also endorsed this plan and again, so did a lot of your republican colleagues on the senate said who said this is as good as it's going to get. so can you really say you did everything and that you have done everything possible for the border when you've opposed that deal? >> in the house we passed h.r.2. it is the most robust border security package ever to pass the chamber of commerce, and i stress, kristen, h.r.2 did not pass the house. chuck schumer and the senate would not even take it up for debate. he ignores it. that's on chuck schumer.
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but at the core of the entire question, the number one job is to secure the country, and joe biden doesn't need legislation to secure the country. he can do that right now. he can undo all of his executive orders that he put into place when he became president of the united states. that's what created the crisis that we have today. >> congressman, as you know, executive orders often get tied up in the courts. that's what happened under former president trump, but let me ask you big picture because the government is careening toward another potential shutdown in just days. are you willing to shut down the government over border security? >> i believe joe biden is willing to shut down over border security. >> what are you willing to do? congressman? what are you willing to do? >> hold on, kristen, let me be clear. i'm willing to fund the government as long as our border is secure. the first job of the government is to secure the border. any business that provides a service, if they don't give you the service, do you give them money? the answer is no. kristen, you don't even do that, so we have to be honest with the american people. the government has a responsibility. our cities are overrun. our schools are overrun.
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our shelters are overrun. and joe biden allows the disaster to continue. kristen, let me ask this wrinkle. there are women sold into slavery by the drug cartels every single day. joe biden allows it to occur. that is un-american, that is not humane, and our border must be secured, period. >> yes or no -- and the biden administration is working on executive actions as we speak, but yes or no, would you vote to shut down the government if you did not see a border security plan in the package, just yes or no? >> i will not be voting for any funding if the border is not secure. >> okay. >> anything i vote for has to secure our border and the president should agree to that. that's common sense for a nation like america. >> all right. congressman donalds, thank you so much for your time today and your perspective. we really appreciate it. and when we come back, democratic governor gavin newsom of california and his thoughts
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on the 2024 race. stay with us. ghts on the 2024 race stay with us
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welcome back. the latest battle over abortion in the wake of roe v. wade is happening in alabama where as we noted earlier, the state supreme court ruled that frozen embryos are legally children and that people can be held liable for drying them, setting off a scramble with implications for ivf and reproductive rights. on saturday i sat down with california governor gavin newsom. his pac is going up this week with a provocative new ad in tennessee where a bill has been proposed that would punish adults assisting minors seeking out-of-state abortions. >> help! >> trump republicans want to criminalize young women who travel to receive their
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reproductive care they need. don't let them hold tennessee women hostage. >> i began by asking newsom what president biden should do to respond to the alabama ruling. >> he's speaking with clarity, moral clarity forcefully. the vice president is speaking with more clarity forcefully all across this country. we've defined the lines of this debate. we've been on the offense, not on the defense. the republican party is on the defense on this issue. you saw that with the flip-flops of haley. you see that in terms of trump. he's still trying to figure out his condition because he's out there celebrating the fact that he created these conditions in the first place. the conditions are much more pernicious than they appear. they are not only restricting the rights to bear a child for a young woman and they're determining their fate as it relates their future in life by saying they can't even travel and they are modeled after a version that passed in idaho is now being proposed in tennessee and oklahoma and mississippi.
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the a.g. himself of alabama wants to criminalize travel not just for children, but for adults seeking reproductive care. that's how serious this moment is, and we need to be even more aggressive, i would argue, and that's what this ad represents. >> given the seriousness of this moment that you have just laid out going back to the question, is there a unilateral, an executive action that you think president biden should be taking to deal with the ivf piece of this and then as you say the abortion travel ban piece of this? >> there's no daylight in their efforts and the work they're doing and they are investigating exactly where their position can land in terms of the law itself, but at the end of the day this is a serious threat not just what's happening in alabama regardless of what trump tweets out saying the legislature in alabama should do something about this. i worry about the united states supreme court that again, set the tone and tenor for the debate we're having today and it's not just a war on travel. it's not just a war on reproductive health care.
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it's also a war on women who were broadly defined, including as we know, contraceptives. >> you talk about the republican position on this. nbc news has confirmed that the gop front-runner donald trump has told people privately that he is considering supporting a 16-week federal ban that would include exceptions. you have been clear and here again today. >> how generous of him to include exceptions. what a kind soul. 16 weeks just because it's an even number. these people aren't serious. this is what he said. he supports a national ban, and if you're lindsay graham and others they'll bring that number well below 16. he will sign a national ban. you want to understand the contours of this debate that we will be having over the next nine months, ironically nine months between now and november and the consequences of the democratic party not succeeding in biden's re-election, just consider the fact that he said that part out loud. >> we know that there are reports that former president obama warned president biden not to underestimate trump.
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>> never. >> do you believe that democrats are underestimating trump in this moment? >> no. >> his strength and potentially in his general election. >> his weakness masquerades as strength. he's less interesting than he was a few years ago. you heard his comments just this week, more just overt racist comments. it's just extraordinary how quickly he is unraveling in real time, includinging just on basic policy issues like repealing obamacare, which is overwhelmingly supported and the highest aca enrollment that we've seen in decades and years and years. the reality at the end of the day is he's unhinged and a much weaker candidate than he was a few years ago. democrats are stronger. we are winning, '18, '22, '23. you saw in new york three. we continue to win and
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outperform and donald trump is a big part of that and he's going to be the nominee of the republican party. >> and yet, governor, there are pretty stark numbers that you're facing. 76% of voters say they have real concerns about president biden's ability to serve a second term. do you think it's responsible for democrats to put him at the top of the ticket given those concerns? >> responsible? i revere his record. what he's done in three years has been a master class close to 15 million jobs and eight times more than the last three republican presidents combined. the economy is booming, inflation is cooling and it's 0.6% more than it was in the summer of 2020 at just 3.1%. and wait a second. we have american manufacturing coming back home all because of biden's wisdom and because of his temperance and his capacity to lead in a bipartisan manner, which is an underrepresented point, and i have great
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confidence moving forward, and it is absolutely all in for the next four years in biden. >> these voters are not complaining about his record and they're talking about his ability to beat trump who you have called a lightning and a threat essentially to the democracy, but in private, we've heard a lot of his allies say publicly in private he is strong and he's in command. >> yeah. he's forceful and does he need to do more? >> i think he's doing everything he needs to do. he's got an extraordinary record and doing everything he needs to do on ukraine at the moment and doing everything he needs to do to reconcile and wrestle some common sense as it relates to bipartisan support with the issue of the border where republicans can take yes for an answer because they don't want to make that a political issue. he is leading. and, so, no, from my humble perspective, not ohm the next three years it's been extraordinary and i was just out in california and i've seen him up close and from far, but here's my point and it's because of his age that he's been so successful and because of the
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character that we have the c.h.i.p.s. and science act and the p.a.c.t. act and the save the communities act, and it's because of his capacity of understanding and his leadership. so the opportunity to express that for four more years, what a gift it is for the american people and as a democrat, what a gift for me to make the case for the leader of our party joe biden. >> let's talk about you, governor, days after that special counsel report came out questioning the president's age and his memory, "the washington post" reports the biden democrats reached out and said when is gavin getting in or witmer and shapiro. the buzz does not stop and do you still rule out a run in 2024? >> i am here celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of the biden-harris administration making the case that we need to make to lift up the issues and lift up the record and drive contrast with the republican nominee to beat donald trump so we have four more years.
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>> have you gotten calls, governor, to run? >> you know what? that's a side shoi. i think what democrats need to do is worry less, do more, continue to overperform as we have, continue to win, make the case. don't be ashamed of 4.1% gdp over the last two quarters. don't be ashamed about the alliance of the biden/harris administration, and don't be timid about making the case for the record of this administration. >> you're ruling it out. >> it's not even a conversation and it's a damning conversation, frankly the other side wants us to have and trust me, i think it's mishegoss, and i'm deeply mindful of the anger machine and the entertainment industry that love ginning this stuff up. at the end of the day, not only has this train left the station, but we get to enjoy a record of accomplishments as we make the case in a re-election, the likes of which we couldn't have dreamt of even as a democrat in the last century. >> trump says he's ready to debate biden. >> i look forward. >> so that's a yes? >> 100%. pure projection on a guy who refused to debate in his own primary. back to my point, weakness
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masquerading as strength. >> let me ask you about immigration very quickly. president biden is reportedly considering taking executive action that would restrict migrants from seeking asylum. would you support that type of executive action from someone who governs a border state? >> it's a broad stroke. before i sign off on any executive action, i would like to know what it is. two things, the asylum system is broken. >> you are open to supporting him on this? >> we know it's game. the credible fear, it's manipulated. i don't think that we know that it's democrats. i have the largest land port in
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the western hemisphere in the state of california. i will be educated on this. i brought the national guard to the border many years ago and increased their presence recently and i applaud the president being willing to advance a bipartisan solution and the republican party is responsible today now for the conditions that persist because of their unwillingness to work with this president who went farther than any democratic president in my lifetime on a comprehensive package, and donald trump called them and threatened them and shows weakness not only of trump, but also on the speaker of the house of representatives. >> so, governor, given that, it is held up in congress and no doubt about that, do you want to see president biden act in should he take this action on restricting asylum? >> i applaud the fact that he's seeking strategies and solutions and i applaud that he's been trying to do that and he's been trying to get 1500 new customs and border agents on the border. >> is that a yes? >> he wants -- president biden 6 supported $650 million for more wall investment. that's the biden -- that's what biden signed off on. so by definition he wants to make progress on the border and yes, by definition, i support his efforts outside of the legislative process because this legislature is broken.
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congress is broken. >> all right. we covered a lot of ground. great to see you. >> great to see you. >> governor gavin newsom, good to see you. >> good to be back. still ahead, our panel weighs in on the south carolina results and looks ahead to michigan. but when we come back as the 2024 candidates make appeals to blake voters, a look back at a presidential candidate who expanded the role of black voters. our "meet the press" minute is next. voters our "meet the press" minute is next only shingrix is proven over 90% effective. shingrix is a vaccine used to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. shingrix does not protect everyone and is not for those with severe allergic reactions to its ingredients or to a previous dose. an increased risk of guillain-barré syndrome was observed after getting shingrix. fainting can also happen. the most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever, and upset stomach. ask your doctor or pharmacist about shingrix today.
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welcome back. as we close out black history month, we look back to a barrier breaker in american politics, the reverend jesse jackson. he launched his first presidential campaign in 1984, becoming the second black american for a viable nationwide bid for the democratic nomination. the reverend jackson joined our broadcast in the final days of his campaign, making clear that the struggle for racial equality would not be solved in a single election. >> you must put one foot in the system and one foot outside and we must fight. we can't adjust the party. we must change the party. 18 years ago after much bloodshed and death and yet 18eers later with that great
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brotherhood, that 512,000 elects officials, we have about 1% of the elected officials. we are about 12% of the population. at this rate it would take us 198 years to achieve parity. my generation is restless. we must change the system and not adjust to it. when we come back, how long will nikki haley stay in the race, and how worried should president biden be about michigan? the panel is next. ident biden bt michigan the panel is next.
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amazing. harness the power of xfinity internet and stay connected to the things you love. ah, they'll be like this for hours. hello dad, hello dad, hello da. uh-oh. good bunnies. ahh! welcome back. the panel is here. nbc news chief political analyst chuck todd. itical ana lyst ch nbc chief news correspondent yamiche alcindor, former obama white house senior adviser stephanie cutter, and lahnee chen, a fellow at the hoover institute at stanford university. thank you for being here after a late night, particularly for you, chuck todd, because you were just in new york tracking the results. let's remind people of the results.
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trump beat haley in south carolina by a 20-point margin and there's no way to sugarcoat it. in 2016, losing in your own state is devastating. in 2016 you had kasich and ted cruz win their home states, but marco rubio lost and got out. what were your takeaways and what is haley's next move, do you think? >> i'll tell you, the most remarkable number to me in the exit poll was 77% and that was the percentage of folks who said they had made up their minds about who they would support before the start of the calendar year and trump won 70% of those folks. so you only have essentially one in four republican voters. this is the south carolina republican electorate is close to being a microcosm of a generic republican electorate than anything we've experienced so far. this is probably the most traditional. it will be semi--replicated through super tuesday. nikki haley is trying to have
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this conversation are you sure you want to do this? what about this? for the last two months she's been having this conversation and one in two are even listening to this conversation, and i think we have an idea of how super tuesday will go. it will split pretty much like this. will she do better in virginia than south carol? it may, maybe in massachusetts, but i think we know the contours of this divide inside the republican party. it's a divided party. it's just not evenly divided. >> it's a static party in terms of nikki haley and they're not open beyond anyone beyond trump. i had the opportunity to interview nikki haley and i asked her what does she need to do to stay in the race. she said she needed to exceed what she did in new hampshire in south carolina. she didn't do that, but she's defiant she's in this race and do you think she will do well like chuck todd is laying, do you think that would be a moment that she would reevaluate? >> you would think she the have to reevaluate because by then the race is essentially over and it would have to be close in south carolina and for her to win it's 20 points she's losing to former president trump and
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the story as chuck pointed out, it's in the exit polls. you see here people saying that they believe that donald trump is someone who can beat joe biden more than she could. the majority of voters said that and even when it comes to independents and moderates which she won they're the tiniest, tiniest part of the gop and you have the answer to the questions and nikki haley said it's not about her political future, but obviously this is politics and when i talk to people, they think maybe she's looking at 2028. if trump loses, they can say nikki haley tried to warn us about this or she wants to point out that this is a party that needs to be redirected, and we need to start thinking long
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term. but for nikki haley after super tuesday, it seems hard to justify to her and her donors how she states it. >> if she doesn't drop out and endorse trump does she have a path to 2028 in this republican party or is that it? >> 2028 is a long time away. >> yeah. >> if you look back at what happened in 2016 and the fact that ted cruz never endorsed donald trump in the nominating process and yet he is seen as somebody who is very much firmly in that camp, i don't know that we can make judgments about 2028 yet, but i would say two things generally keep candidates involved in races. one is politics, and the other is money. the money dynamic is very clear for haley and she has plenty of resources and she's continued to raise money and i've talked to many donors to her campaign who are interested in continuing to support her because they view that as a way to express a point of view and whether she can win or not is beside the issue. we were expressing a point of view. politically that's where it gets more complicated for her. and arguing her staying in certainly beyond super tuesday
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and beyond, i don't think it affects her political calculous and if she stays through may and june, and i think that's a perfectly reasonable thing. >> stephanie, i asked gavin newsom if democrats wanted her to get out. they said absolutely not. she's one of our best surrogates. >> the argument she's making on the campaign trail are precisely the arguments that democrats, independents, never trumpers have been making for seven, eight years. >> yeah. >> you know, i do think as a democrat, looking at these numbers and the results of these races there is a strong, never trump contingent of the republican party, and the only way trump wins in a general election is by delivering the republican vote and then suppressing certain parts of the democratic vote. there are real questions about whether he will be able to turn out a republican party. >> let's talk about one of the big contours of the general election. it is the issue of reproductive rights and now we have this ivf ruling in alabama.
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how significant is this. look at how quickly democrats have come out to say no, no, no, we support services and i have signed a federal piece of legislation that protect them. >> they are the dog that caught the car, and they have been fighting for decades to overturn roe, which is what dobbs gave us, which is what trump brags about. he did that by appointing members of the supreme court, but you know, all these members that rushed out to say we support ivf. they're the same members that are supporting legislation right now that would ban ivf. so voters are smarter than this, and they've proven they're smarter than this since dobbs came down, women have been turning out all over this country to say these are our
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freedoms they're taking away, and i think ivf visualizes it, and it was very much predicted, and we knew this was going to happen, and this is not an isolated issue. and it's going to keep happening and republicans will keep tripping over this because their real position is that, yes, they do want to be on these things. >> chuck, how do you see this playing out? >> i think it's fascinating in the republican exit polls, what is the issue? abortion has been at the top and when you see a republican pick abortion usually meant that they were on the limiting side of access the pro-life side and however you want to characterize it. what was interesting here in south carolina, just 10% said abortion was the most important issue and the majority voted for nikki haley. it tells you that 2022, those midterms i think ten years from now historians will look back, and was it the trump nominee? no, that was a dobbs election. this may be a dobbs decade. there are times when i look at this electorate and i wonder can the republicans win a national election until they figure out their position on abortion, and
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i don't know if they can. >> they're all over the map in terms of messaging and yamiche, you were on the ground in alabama. >> the human impact of this cannot be underscore. the trauma that i talk to when i witnessed women say that they spent years and thousands and thousands of dollars preparing for ivf only to get calls from their doctors the day before that their procedures were cancelled and people will remember that no matter the legislation. let's remember the republicans took a week for them to coalesce along the idea of supporting ivf. >> they had to check with the groups to see what they could say. >> i saw her physically feel relief when donald trump said that he was going to come out and she said it was head spinning to think that politics was the reason why she can now tell her patients that they can have their dreams again and they won't be crushed. >> lahnee? >> i think we've seen a shift in where the energy is now. when you look at the enthusiasm gap, democrats have used this issue to shape the electorate into a electorate whether it's
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favorable, any it's congressional seats, gubernatorial races. for republicans messaging around and having a conversation on this issue, what byron donalds did was exactly right. you've got to come out in favor of a strong effort on ivf and that's where they've got to be. >> and all of this the backdrop to michigan on tuesday. thanks, folks. that is all for today. thank you for watching. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." i'm not giving